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An Afternoon in Late July, Chatting

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Presswire

The unexpected in the form of a six-run inning off last year's National League Cy Young award winner, of which a bases-loaded walk of the opposing pitcher may have been the highlight.

You don't see that every day. In fact, that is just the sort of inexplicable wonderfulness that makes even a Tuesday night game in the most doggest days of perhaps the most doggest summer in memory so wonderful. We all know instinctively -- or perhaps not instinctively, but through the weighted knowledge of love -- that virtually anything can happen at any moment in any baseball game. It's a big part of the reason why we follow the game we do.

I'm sure there are a couple million Dodger fans out there who wanted to throw something small and heavy through their televisions last night watching Clayton Kershaw fail to throw strikes to Adam Wainwright. What was a misery to them was joy for us; their inconceivable meltdown was our double rainbow super happy surprise. Neither they nor we ever saw it coming, and there's something really special about that.

We're almost at the trade deadline, you know. Hanley Ramirez was just dealt to those same Dodgers for a rookie starter and a minor leaguer; the weight of iffy performance and a heavy contract made a deal possible which would have been almost inconceivable a season or two ago. The Pirates just picked up Wandy Rodriguez to bolster their own chances at the postseason. I fully expect Walt Jocketty to have something up his sleeve; he's rarely the sort to stand pat at the deadline if he thinks he can bump his team closer to playoff baseball. The Yankees acquired Ichiro for some reason. (I think the phrase, "For some reason," should be added every time that particular deal is discussed, by the way.)

It's a remarkably interesting time of the season. The Cardinals are in a remarkably interesting position. Let's chat about it, shall we? You ask me stuff and I'll type up responses to that stuff. Not exactly groudbreaking formatular material. But, hey, let's do it anyway.